Newsom Signs Coronavirus Relief Package With Aid for Small Businesses, Low-Income Residents

46 minutes ago

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a $7.6 billion coronavirus relief package on Tuesday that will give at least $600 one-time payments to 5.7 million people while setting aside more than $2 billion in grants for struggling small businesses.

Newsom signed the law as Congress is debating a much larger stimulus package for the nation, a proposal that could also put money into the pockets of most Americans. And it comes as the first-term governor is facing a recall effort fueled in part by widespread anger over his handling of the coronavirus, particularly its impact on businesses.

Newsom used his emergency powers in November to set aside $500 million for small business grants. In the first round of funding, the program received more than 334,000 applications totaling more than $4.4 billion in requests.

The law Newsom signed on Thursday puts another $2 billion into that program. Businesses with annual revenues between $1,000 and $2.5 million are eligible for the money, with a priority given to businesses owned by women and minorities and businesses in areas with high unemployment rates.

The Legislature will likely approve more aid for businesses next week. Lawmakers had planned to pass a bill on Monday that would have let businesses deduct up to $150,000 in expenses covered by federal loans from their state taxes — a $2 billion benefit over six years. But they decided to amend the bill to let businesses deduct more than $150,000 from their taxes, raising the price tag for the state to about $2.3 billion, Newsom said.

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—Adam Beam, Associated Press

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